Irreconcilable Differences: Political Culture and Gender Violence during the Chilean Transition to Democracy

Citation:

Hiner, Hillary, and María José Azócar. 2015. “Irreconcilable Differences: Political Culture and Gender Violence during the Chilean Transition to Democracy.” Latin American Perspectives 42 (3): 52-72.

Authors: Hillary Hiner, María José Azócar

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The politics of national reconciliation during the transitional period of the 1990s in Chile constructed a hegemonic framework that affected discourses in other domains in multilayered ways. In order to achieve consensus among its various factions, the Concertación used "reconciliation" discourse to portray the nation as a family, and potentially divisive issues were framed in the most apolitical, ahistorical, and technical way. In this context, gender violence was construed as a matter of family and individual liberties, and the objective of the first family violence law was maintaining the family intact. The framework of reconciliation and its association with Christian forgiveness and family unity promoted the use of conciliation rather than sentencing as the primary means of settling domestic violence disputes and made it difficult for those affected by gender violence to achieve justice. However, the foundational discourses of the 1990s served an important purpose in opening up discursive spaces on gender violence that could be further refined. 
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Las políticas de reconciliación nacional durante el periodo de transición de los 1990 en Chile armaron un marco hegémonico que afectó el discurso en otros campos de múltiples maneras. Para lograr el consenso entre sus diferentes facciones, la Concertación usó el discurso de la "reconciliación" para describir la nación como una familia y los temas que pudieran suscitar discrepancias fueron enmarcados de la manera más apolítica, ahistórica y técnica. En este contexto, la violencia de género fue interpretada como una cuestión de libertades individuales y de la familia, y el objetivo de la primera ley sobre violencia familiar fue mantener a la familia unida. El marco de reconciliación y su asociación con el perdón cristiano y la unidad familiar promovieron el uso de la conciliación en lugar de la sanción penal como el medio principal para resolver las disputas de violencia doméstica. Esto hizo difícil que aquellas personas afectadas por la violencia de género recibieran justicia. Sin embargo, los discursos fundacionales de los 1990 sirvieron para abrir más espacios de discusión sobre la violencia de género, y ésto es algo que podría ser profundizado.

Keywords: gender violence, reconciliation, justice, memory, Chile

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, TRCs, Nationalism, Religion, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2015

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